There aren't enough words to describe the great joy that pierces through me whenever I am in Japan. Now I'm in Niigata! More than three years have passed already since the tempestuous creative process of Les Contes d'Hoffmann, my departure from Paris, my summer love story with Satoshi.
It was with a childlike anticipation that I came back to Niigata. That city doesn't strike as being particularly glamorous or trendy for any ordinary visitor - oh yes, the food is good, and the rice, certainly the best in the country. To me, Niigata was the place of my rebirth. Growth was slow but went steadily, even if I may have drifted far away in the process. However the seed that was planted was the belief, or the faith that everything would be fine eventually.
PLAY 2 PLAY is restaged with a totally new cast, except for principle dancer and muse Sawako. I saw Satoshi again with great pleasure. He has matured as a magnificent - and flamboyant primo ballerino. Kaneko-san, the sound engineer who has accompanied us for ten years already is still there. And of course, the joy to see Sawako and Jo again.
"I wish you were there all the timeto make me laugh and crack jokes" Sawako exclaimed as we were having a quick dinner after the rehearsal. The dancers at Noism know no idleness, thus being amazing performers on stage, and she reigns over them like a queen mother.
I couldn't wait to see the changes that Jo brought to the original choreography. As far as I was concerned, even though I consider PLAY 2 PLAY as my best work, I still found that some section were dragging and lacking clarity. These new performances were the ideal excuse to revise the score.
As I watched the first run through, I marvelled once again at Jo's genius. The choreography was much more precise and straight to the point. I was also surprised by the music. Hearing it on my headphones and then seeing how she sounded on stage filled me with excitement. I may have written it, but I was still surprised and thrilled at how the sounds, layers, instruments played with my senses. I understood what I foresaw more than six years ago, without fully being aware of it. Naturally I asked myself whether I would be able to better myself after PLAY 2 PLAY. The six years allowed Jo and I to mature our vision of the world and ourselves. Back in 2007, we were perhaps more centered on our lives, focused on what we wanted to express through the piece. Now I feel no need to do anything. Everything matured by itself and speaks for itself. We are only channels. It was so amazing to watch this familiar work and yet not recognise anything at the same time!
Sawako, Jo and I are gathering around a simple dinner after the last run through. Time to relax, and enjoy a few moments together. They are rare this time, for I don't stay long and there is still so much to prepare before the premiere. How I cherish them!
That was when Jo suggested me to get back to Captive Queen, and compose an entirely new music. I wanted to know what went through Jo's mind when he decided to make that solo for Sawako.While I thought that the piece was reflecting his current state of being, I actually learned that the true subject wasn't himself but his spouse, muse and principal dancer! Jo wanted to break down the walls he felt Sawako had erected around herself.
"I was my own prisonner, she said. But eventually, I didn't break any wall, I climbed over them!!!"
The idea now is that I compose a totally new score, regardless of what Sibelius has done.
"Just write what comes to your mind as you watch the dance. Be free!" Jo said.
Totally the opposite of what I had to do then!
Even if it's a more modest project, I'm so happy to have something to look forward to.